Madagascar’s parliament has approved a new law that mandates surgical castration for those found guilty of raping a child under ten years old, along with a sentence of life imprisonment.
According to Mail Online, the law also stipulates that if the victim is between ten and 13 years old, the perpetrator will undergo chemical castration and face 15 to 20 years of forced labor. However, if the rapist is a minor, they will not undergo castration.
The law, which was approved by Madagascar’s National Assembly on February 2, legalizes the castration of child rapists. Minister of Justice Landy Randriamanantenasoa expressed support for the bill, stating, “Society must know what they did and who they are,” as reported by the French language newspaper Le Quotidien.
The bill was proposed by President Andry Rajoelina last month and was a key campaign promise during his re-election bid last year.
However, international organizations have criticized the new law. Amnesty’s regional director for East and Southern Africa, Tigere Chagutah, stated, “Implementing chemical and surgical castration as a punishment for those found guilty of raping minors will not solve this and is inconsistent with Malagasy constitutional provisions against torture and other ill-treatment, as well as regional and international human rights standards,” as reported by the BBC.
Randriamanantenasoa has defended the law, stating that Madagascar is a sovereign country.
This development comes shortly after Kazakhstan announced a similar law to surgically remove the genitals of the country’s worst offending child sex offenders. Kazakhstan’s draft law, announced on February 6, follows complaints from lawmakers that the current law, which mandates chemical castration for paedophiles, is not deterring child sex offenders.
The tightening of the law in Kazakhstan follows the death of Erkezhan Nurmakhan, five, who was lured to a paedophile’s house after he offered her money for an ice cream.